Tara Reade uses 1993 Larry King clip to back up sexual assault claims against Joe Biden

‘I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington’

James Crump
Tuesday 28 April 2020 09:21 BST
Tara Reade uses 1993 Larry King clip to back up sexual assault claims against Joe Biden

Resurfaced footage from Larry King Live, appears to show the mother of Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, ask the host for advice about inappropriate behaviour in Washington.

In the clip, which is from 1993, the same year that Ms Reade claims that Mr Biden assaulted her, an unnamed woman asked for advice to give her daughter.

“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington?” the woman asked, in the clip resurfaced by The Intercept.

“My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” she added.

The host, Larry King, responded: “In other words, she had a story to tell but out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?” and the woman replies: “That’s true.”

At no point during the conversation did the woman mention sexual assault, Mr Biden, or anything specific about the problem she called about.

The Biden campaign has denied the allegations against him.

On Friday, Ms Reade told CNN that she believes that the voice in the clip, is her mother, Jeanette Altimus.

“I’ve been crying because I haven’t heard my mom’s voice in a few years. So it’s been a little emotional,” she said. “I miss her. I miss her voice.”

The outlet also confirmed that Ms Altimus lived in the San Luis Obispo area at the time, which Mr King said was the caller’s location.

Ms Reade has accused the presumptive Democratic candidate for president of sexually assaulting her, in various interviews in the last few weeks. She told CNN that when she worked for Mr Biden as an aide in 1993, he asked her to deliver a duffle bag to his office.

She said that when she arrived, he “had me up against the wall; he used his knee to spread open my legs,” and “put his fingers inside me.” She alleges that after she pulled away, Mr Biden said: “Come on man. I heard — I thought you liked me.”

Ms Reade claimed that he then got angry with her and said “You are nothing to me. You are nothing,” but eventually held her by the shoulders and told her: “You’re OK. You’re fine.”

She said she decided not to call the police, but told the outlet that she called Ms Altimus that night, who told her that she should.

“I think what makes me emotional is that I was really hard on her and I said, ‘Why would you do that, it’s scary to me,’” she told CNN. “I had told her not to do that and she did and she did it on her own and I know now.”

Ms Reade added: “I wish I could go back and I could hug her and say thank you for being a good mom and trying to protect me.”

Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield told CNN: “Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women.

“He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard – and heard respectfully,” she said.

“Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Biden’s team for further comment.

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